Every year universities across the United States host career fairs on their campuses, typically multiple times per year. In case you haven’t noticed, there are thousands of universities, public and private, so that translates into a huge number of career fairs! Companies big and small attended these fairs looking for the best and brightest to convince them to join their ranks. But are these events still the best way to connect with college students and job seekers? Are these career fairs just a formality now and the “real” job searching all takes place online?  Should companies still spend resources to attend the fairs? Read on to find out more!
Long story short, yes companies who send recruiters to college career fairs can easily make it worthwhile. If managed correctly, recruitment from college career fairs can still play a significant role in your company’s long-term strategy. College career fairs are great ways to get word out about your company to fresh and talented job seekers who will apply for jobs at your company, tell their friends, and spend time researching your company if they should be fortunate enough to prepare for an interview. After all, everyone likes free stuff! Make sure the people your company sends to a college career fair has a healthy amount of branded promotional items they can disperse.
Note some universities have separate types of fairs: career fairs and job fairs. Most people wouldn’t know the difference, but at job fairs, companies focus on finding people to hire. Companies that have many open positions that must be filled quickly love job fairs. Career fairs, on the other hand, have a wider scope. Companies use these fairs as an opportunity to promote their brand, explain the company’s hiring process, and more, on top of interviewing top talent. Most universities allow companies to attend career fairs even when they don’t have any open positions.
After all, searching through thousands of applications, without any in-person characteristics to compare the application/resume against, takes a lot of time. Just make sure that the people you send to the career fair are extremely knowledgeable about your company because those college students are typically inquisitive. Benefits such as flex time and health insurance are highly valued and should be stressed when describing compensation. Even after the career fair is over, the best companies follow up with students to keep them engaged and talking about their company.